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Working Groups

Click on the name of a working group to access a Directory page that lists the chairs and members of that working group and their contact information.

MWCCS Scientific Working Groups 

  • Aging Working Group– Studies complex characteristics of aging, to include both aging-related diseases and non-organ-specific events that are associated with age, in multiethnoracial HIV- and HIV+ men and women comprising the MWCCS. Studies the epidemiology of complex aging-related processes including physical/functional status (frailty, walking speed, balance, falls, fractures, endocrine status), mental health (depressive symptoms), the interaction between physical/functional and mental health, and healthy aging and resilience. Studies mechanisms of complex systemic aging processes comprised of the four proposed domains of the aging phenotype (body composition changes, energy balance changes and impairments, alterations in homeostasis, and peripheral and central neurodegeneration). 
  • Cardiovascular (CVD) Working Group – Leads the MWCCS agenda of research on heart and vascular disease, stroke, and subclinical markers of cardiovascular disease. Assists with development of manuscripts and ancillary studies to understand the relationship of CVD and its risk factors with HIV infection, important co-morbidities, such as Hepatitis C, and exposure to anti-retroviral medications. Serves as a source of information about the design of cardiovascular studies in the CCS and related data on major CVD risk factors (e.g., lipids, blood pressure), blood, urine, and cellular makers, ‘omics data (e.g., metabolome, microbiome, genome), vascular imaging, and clinical CVD events. Monitors CVD measurement protocols in the MWCCS and oversees the adjudication of CVD events. 
  • Clinical Outcomes/Epidemiology Working Group – Reviews and adjudicates deaths and important clinical events using source medical record documentation which is aggregated at the sites and submitted as de-identified “packets for review.” Reviews submitted concept sheets for which clinical expertise is needed. Provides ongoing review and makes recommendations regarding activities performed at semi-annual study visits. 
  • COVID Working Group – Supports research on the COVID-19 pandemic and HIV infection. This includes research on the occurrence of SARS-CoV-2 (SARS2) infection and its long term effects; relation of SARS2 to HIV persistence; COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy; COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness.
  • Genomics Working Group – Oversees the study of host genomic (e.g., genetic, epigenetic, gene expression) data of MWCCS study participants. Provides expert feedback on proposed and in-progress scientific genomic-related activities. 
  • Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) Working Group– Specializes in cervical, oral and anal HPV infection and disease. Monitors progress of HPV-related R01s in the MWCCS and shares results. 
  • Liver Working Group – Studies liver disease including viral hepatitis, fatty liver, alcohol-related liver disease, and liver cancer in people living with and without HIV. The group studies how HIV and medications affect the liver. Researchers in the group also study how liver disease in people living with HIV can impact other organ systems including the heart, lungs, brain, hormones and kidneys. Working group members have expertise in viral hepatitis, liver disease, immunology and non-invasive measurements of liver injury.
  • Malignancy Working Group – Gathers information about cancers diagnosed in study participants. Reviews new and on-going cancer projects in the MWCCS. Gives feedback on analyses of the MWCCS cancer data.
  • Metabolic Working Group– Supports research and provides expertise in areas relating to and affected by endocrine and metabolic disorders in adults living with and at risk for HIV infection. Areas falling under the primary purview of the Metabolic Working Group include dyslipidemia, disorders of insulin and glucose homeostasis, body composition (including obesity, lipodystrophy, and visceral adiposity), bone metabolism and fractures, and sex hormone disturbances (including menopause and male hypogonadism). Strives to provide support and expertise to the other working groups that advance the Unified Scientific Agenda, for whom metabolic issues play a critical role in the development or progression of disease. Examples include, but are not limited to, hepatic steatosis, cardiovascular disease, aging, cognitive function, cancer, and the psychosocial determinants and effects of these comorbid conditions. Supports development of guidelines for ascertainment of clinical events and the mentoring of junior investigators. 
  • Neuropsychology Working Group – Assesses the interaction between HIV status, psychosocial moderators, medical comorbidities, and biomarkers on brain structure and cognition and its impact on everyday function. 
  • Pharmacology Working Group –This working group studies how HIV medicines are used, how they move through the body, and side effects they may cause. To study this, drug levels are measured in hair and blood. This group advises other working groups on how to use drug level data. The group helps researchers who want to use MWCCS samples to answer questions about HIV medicines in men and women.
  • Psychosocial Behavioral Working Group – This Working Group helps scientists who are working on research projects. Psychology, social factors, and behavior are key focus areas. We study ways that these factors influence HIV and other disease outcomes.
  • Pulmonary Working Group  – Studies the effects of HIV on the lung and breathing symptoms.
  • Sleep Working Group – The Sleep WG is made up of Sleep experts, Lung Disease experts and experts in how HIV affects aging men and women. The Working Group is exploring how HIV affects sleep quality, sleep apnea and circadian function (sleep timing and consistency). In addition, the groups studies how sleep affects other aspects of health including mental health, cardiovascular health, cognitive function and frailty. We are particularly looking at whether sleep disturbances cause detrimental inflammation that may lead to these health problems.
  • Viral and Immune Pathogenesis Working Group– Supports basic and translational research in broad areas relating to HIV pathogenesis, virology, and immunology. Specific areas of research in this Working Group include HIV persistence, latency, and reservoirs; mucosal and systemic factors affecting HIV transmission, acquisition, and diseases progression; and the pathogenesis of HIV-associated inflammation. This Working Group works with other relevant working groups to provide support and expertise for development of procedures related to specimen collection and testing for blood and tissue studies. Provides feedback to investigators seeking to utilize MWCCS for the above scientific areas, including mentoring of junior investigators. 

MWCCS Operational Working Groups 

  • CCS Specimen Allocation Committee (CSAC)– Assists in the allocation of high-value repository specimens. Reviews all requests for the release of samples from individuals who contribute significant or unique outcomes to overall MWCCS research aims and will determine whether or not the restricted samples should be released to the requesting investigator. 
  • Core Laboratory Working Group– Assists study sites with all laboratory matters including sample collection, testing, and storage.  Makes sure that lab procedures are the same at all sites.  Provides expert advice to researchers and committees. 
  • Data Management Working Group – Oversees all aspects of data collection and editing, ensuring that data collection standards are upheld across all sites. Typical discussion topics include data freezes and edits, summary file updates, central data transfers, and Gemini reports. 
  • Project Directors Working Group– Discusses operational aspects of the MWCCS, such as form and protocol revisions, sub-study feasibility and implementation, registry match status, budgets, certification and quality assurance, and the activities of the scientific research groups and their impact on clinical operations. 
  • Medical Record Abstraction Working Group – description forthcoming. 

MWCCS Interest Groups 

  • Biomarkers Interest Group – Provides intellectual and technical advice on biomarker-related efforts by MWCCS investigators. Evaluates proposals from outside investigators requesting access to MWCCS specimens and/or biomarker data for soundness and overlap with existing biomarker-related projects. 
  • Gynecology and Pregnancy Interest Group – Coordinates studies assessing the effect of menopause. Evaluates the effect of effective contraception. Assesses the association of pregnancy outcomes with maternal health markers and studies the interaction between mental health and substance abuse with pregnancy outcomes, maternal health markers, immunologic and virologic response to HAART, and quality of life/post-partum mental health/functional status. 
  • Microbiome Interest Group– Develops SOPs for collection and processing of stool, oral, and cervicovaginal samples for microbiome analysis and bioinformatics approaches for data analysis. Responsible for the evaluation of proposed microbiome studies in the MWCCS cohort. Works to develop new concepts and scientific/health aims that utilize stored microbiome samples. 
  • Renal Interest Group– Spearheads projects, provides guidance to investigators, and fosters collaboration for research focused on kidney disease and its related complications in persons living with or at risk for HIV. 

View calendar of upcoming conferences.